Turks should show sympathy to Trump and tolerate his tweets - columnist

Turks should be understanding over a tweet U.S. President Donald Trump posted on Monday warning he could destroy the Turkish economy since his words are directed at opponents in the United States, Mehmet Barlas, a columnist for the pro-government daily Sabah said on Wednesday. 

Following a phone conversation with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Sunday, Trump announced that he would pull out American troops in northern Syria to allow Ankara to launch a military operation against Kurdish-controlled territories along its border.

“As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey (I’ve done before!),” Trump said on Twitter on Monday.

The U.S. President was referring to his decision to impose sanctions on two Turkish ministers and double tariffs on Turkish metals last year over the nearly two-year detention of an American pastor, which triggered a currency crisis in Turkey and records lows for the lira. 

According to Barlas, Trump with his tweet on Monday was responding to his critics at home, particularly Hillary Clinton, former U.S. Secretary of State and Trump’s Democrat rival in 2016 elections. 

“Let us be clear: The president has sided with authoritarian leaders of Turkey and Russia over our loyal allies and America’s own interests. His decision is a sickening betrayal both of the Kurds and his oath of office,” Clinton said on Monday on Twitter. 

If Trump in the past had listened Erdoğan more carefully, he would have known that Clinton was a handmaid of the Gülen movement, Barlas said, referring to the outlawed religious group led by U.S.-based Turkish cleric Fethullah Gülen which Turkish government says planned a coup attempt in 2016. 

But “unlucky” Trump posted his tweet as a response to Clinton rather than highlighting her relationship with Gülen, who has remained in the United States for reasons beyond Trump’s power, Barlas said. 

“But we now all know Trump’s real opinions,” Barlas said, citing a subsequent tweet of the U.S. President praising his relations with Erdoğan.

“In short, we should not show unnecessary reactions to Trump,” Barlas said, adding that, even in the case of Brunson crisis, Trump imposed “nonsensical” sanctions but refrained from destroying Turkey.